Believe it! Hale races from 29th into Modified main event

Clay Hale
Clay Hale impressed with his run from 29th starting to third in his Thursday night Modified qualify­ing feature at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. (Photo by Jim Zim­merline)

BOONE, Iowa – When he lined up 29th for the start of Thursday’s second Modified qualifying fea­ture at Boone Speedway, Clay Hale wanted to get in some laps, pass as many cars as he could and get as many of those valuable points as possible.

What he did instead was race all the way to third and qualify for his career first IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s main event.

“When I rolled out, I wanted to go half the race before deciding if I’d get up on the wheel,” said Hale, from Cameron, Mo. “I started driving harder, the car came in and the next thing I knew we were passing cars.”

“When I crossed the finish line there was disbelief at first. I would have never believed that we could start 29th and end up in the tech tent,” he continued. “I was so excited because I knew we got the transfer.”

A former Northern SportMod entrant at Super Nationals, Hale had a state championship to his credit in the first JBR Chassis built with buddy Josh Barnes before running part-time this season. Most of those starts came at U.S. 36 Raceway and Bethany Speedway, with a weekly visit to Boone for good measure.

He’s running the third JBR car now – Dustin Miller is in the second and also in the southeast cor­ner of the pits. Hale already has his game plan and goals in place for the main event.

“We’re going to run as hard as we can and finish as good as we can,” he said. “A top five would be absolutely amazing for this team.”